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The IAFOR North American Conference on Education 2014 International, Intercultural, Interdisciplinary “Transforming and Changing Education: Power, In/equalities.

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Presentation on theme: "The IAFOR North American Conference on Education 2014 International, Intercultural, Interdisciplinary “Transforming and Changing Education: Power, In/equalities."— Presentation transcript:

1 The IAFOR North American Conference on Education 2014 International, Intercultural, Interdisciplinary “Transforming and Changing Education: Power, In/equalities and Social Justice” Professor Sue Jackson Birkbeck University of London

2 Change and transformation In this conference participants are invited to explore the ways in which learning and teaching can be challenged and re/created through change and transformation. This conference will explore the transformative effects of education through critiques of power, in/equalities and social justice

3 Imagining change “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” (Albert Einstein, ‘On Science’)

4 Identity how constructs of learner identities as ‘self’ and ‘other’ are defined and acted out through spaces of marginalisation how constructions of learner identities shape possibilities for social justice and transformation

5 Intersected identities Perceptions of ‘difference’ based in normalised discourses and constructed in ‘lack’ Gender and its intersections with social class and ‘race’ is simultaneously subjective, structural and about social positionings and everyday practices (Burke and Jackson, 2007) Students (as well as teachers) are part of complex social, cultural, political, ideological and personal circumstances, and current experiences of learning will depend in part on previous ones, as well as on age, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, varying abilities and more Belonging and ‘unbelonging’

6 Constructions of knowledge how understandings of ‘knowledge’ are constructed for learners and teachers through challenging and transforming educational inequalities how hierarchies of ‘knowledge’ are determined and played out through constructs of power

7 Whose knowledge(s)?

8 Learning through knowing ‘education makes sense because women and men learn that through learning they can make and remake themselves, because women and are able to take responsibility for themselves as beings capable of knowing – of knowing that they know and knowing that they don’t’. (Freire, 2004: 15)

9 New knowledges? ‘If yesterday he blamed himself for it, now he became able to realise that he was not responsible for finding himself in that condition … His struggle was more important in constituting his new knowledge than the messianic, authoritarian militant’s discourse’. (Freire, 2004: 65) ‘there are questions all of us must ask insistently that make us see the impossibility of studying for study’s sake’. Instead, we should ask “In favor of what do I study? In favor of whom? Against what do I study? Against whom do I study”?’ (Freire, 2004: 60, original italics).

10 Transformative pedagogies how transformative pedagogies can challenge educational inequalities how learners and teachers can transform and change education through challenging social injustices

11 Pedagogies of change? Feminist and other critical or radical pedagogies have made little inroads into the lifelong learning agenda (Zukas and Malcolm, 2002) Discourses of vocationalism and individualism locate women and working-class people differently from men and middle- class people Definitions of ‘skill’ are both gendered and classed ‘Lifelong learning’ supports individualized learning embedded in structural power relations and hegemonic meaning-making. What dominates is a discourse of individualism which is located within structural inequalities and social constructions of gender.

12 Frameworks of critical pedagogies Constructions of self and positions of privilege Shifting identities De/constructions of truth and knowledge claims (based in personal experience) Critiques of power Social contexts of learning Intersections of gender with class, ‘race’, sexualities... Questions of ‘voice’

13 Re-visioning pedagogies of transformation Developing new cultures of learning, finding ways not only to recognise the power relations embedded in constructions of knowledge and of learning, but also in finding ways for teachers and learners to resist and reclaim them Developing our pedagogic imaginations, recognising that knowledge is constructed and that teachers also learn, and learners also teach Learning and teaching to transgress, rather than learning and teaching to conform

14 The role of educational institutions how educational institutions endorse and/or challenge educational inequalities how hidden differences and inequalities are played out in education, and the pedagogical challenges this raises

15 What is education for? “The more education becomes empty of dreams to fight for, the more the emptiness left by those dreams becomes filled with technique, until the moment comes when education becomes reduced to that. Then education becomes pure training, it becomes pure transfer of content, it is almost like the training of animals, it is a mere exercise in adaptation to the world.” (Freire, 2004: 84, original italics)‏

16 University challenge Lecturers as possessors of knowledge Meaning making Students and teachers exist in complex circumstances Lifelong learning / experiences / skills Becoming ‘academic’ New ways of learning (and teaching)

17 Transformative spaces for learning and teaching in higher education? Changing times – traditions and innovations Boundaries of place and space Acknowledging existing knowledges and developing new ones Dominant powers and new possibilities

18 Brave new worlds Remembering old spaces and what we value Discovering new spaces and how to develop them Finding ways to belong and become Viewing the world from different perspectives Broadening possibilities Entering brave new worlds


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